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Neonatal jaundice is common among newborn babies. It usually occurs when a baby’s liver is not mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream. In Hong Kong, 6 to 8 out of 10 newborn babies have some degree of jaundice. Jaundice usually appears on the 2nd to 3rd day after birth, and peaks during the 5th to 7th days after birth.
Jaundice is roughly divided into physiological and pathological. The former requires only observation and/or light treatment, while the latter requires pathological diagnosis and treatment. Traditionally, phototherapy, the treatment of jaundice, requires hospitalization. Now, home-phototherapy is introduced in Hong Kong. This device serves several advantages. Home care not only avoids the risk of cross-infection in hospitalization, especially amid the raging coronavirus pandemic, but also cuts the cost with private hospitals. It reduces the time of “mother-child separation” and does not hinder breastfeeding. Therefore it would help prevent postpartum mood swings and even depression.